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TCL > May 2001 Issue > Court Business

The Colorado Lawyer
May 2001
Vol. 30, No. 5 [Page  109]

© 2001 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved.

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From the Courts
Court Business

Court Business

Colorado Supreme Court Rules Committee

Proposed Amendment to the
Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure
Hearing to be held Wednesday, June 13, 2001, at 3:00 p.m.

NOTICE

The Supreme Court will conduct a public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure suggested by the Supreme Court Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee. The proposed amendment will add a new rule, C.R.C.P. 251.8.6, Suspension for Failure to Cooperate.

The public hearing will be held on Wednesday, June 13, 2001, at 3:00 p.m. in the Colorado Supreme Court Courtroom, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, Colorado. An original and eight copies of written comments to the court concerning the proposals should be submitted to: Mac V. Danford, Clerk of the Supreme Court, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203, no later than May 31, 2001. Persons wishing to participate in the hearing should so notify Mac Danford no later than May 31, 2001.

Proposed Text of New Rule 251.8.6

C.R.C.P. 251.8.6. Suspension for Failure to Cooperate

(a) Application. The provisions of this rule shall apply in all cases where there is a request for investigation or a prosecution pending against an attorney under these rules. If the attorney fails to cooperate either by failing to respond to the request for investigation or by failing to produce information or records requested by Regulation Counsel, then Regulation Counsel may file a petition for suspension of the attorney’s license to practice law. Proceedings commenced against an attorney under the provisions of this rule are not disciplinary proceedings. Suspension of an attorney’s license to practice law under the provisions of this rule is not a form of discipline and shall not necessarily bar disciplinary action.

(b) Petition for Suspension. Regulation Counsel may file a petition or suspension with the Supreme Court alleging that the attorney has not responded to requests for information, has not responded to the request for investigation, or has not produced records of documents requested by Regulation Counsel. The petition shall be supported by an affidavit setting forth sufficient facts to give rise to reasonable cause that the alleged conduct has in fact occurred. A copy of the petition shall be served on the attorney pursuant to these rules. The failure of the attorney to file a response in opposition to the petition within ten days may result in the entry of an order suspending the attorney’s license to practice law until further order of the court.

Upon consideration of a petition for suspension and the attorney’s response, if any, the Supreme Court may suspend the attorney’s license to practice law for an indefinite period pending further order of the court; it may deny the petition; or it may issue any other appropriate orders.

(c) Reinstatement. An attorney suspended under this rule may apply to the Supreme Court for reinstatement upon proof of compliance with the requests of Regulation Counsel as alleged in the petition. A copy of the application must be furnished to Regulation Counsel, who may file a response to the application within ten days after being served with a copy of the application for reinstatement.

 

In the United States District Court
For the District of Colorado

In the Matter of Local Rules of Practice
Deadline for Public Comment: May 31, 2001

 

PURSUANT to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 83, it is

ORDERED that the attached proposed amendments to the Local Rules of Practice for the District of Colorado shall be posted in Room C-145 of the U.S. Courthouse, and notice of these proposed changes will be published in The Colorado Lawyer and on this court’s website (address on the next page), and the time for filing public comment on these proposed changes will expire on May 31, 2001. Public comments shall be filed with the Clerk, U.S. Courthouse, 1929 Stout St., Room C-145, Denver, CO 80294.

Dated at Denver, Colorado, March 22, 2001.

Lewis T. Babcock, Chief Judge

 

In the United States District Court
For the District of Colorado

In the Matter of Local Rules of Practice
Proposed Amendments to D.C.COLO.LR 72.6

 

Consent Jurisdiction of Magistrate Judges

A. Designation. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c)(1) and subject to the provisions of this rule, all full-time magistrate judges in the District of Colorado are specially designated to conduct any or all proceedings in any jury or nonjury civil matter and order the entry of judgment in the case. This rule, implementing 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) consent jurisdiction in the District of Colorado, does not affect assignments to magistrate judges under other court rules and orders of reference.

B. Prohibition. No judicial officer, court official or court employee may attempt to influence the granting or withholding of consent to the reference of any civil matter to a magistrate judge under this rule. The form of notice of right to consent to disposition by a magistrate judge shall make reference to the prohibition and shall identify the rights being waived.

C. Notice. Upon the filing of any civil case, the clerk shall deliver to the plaintiff(s) written notice of the right of the parties to consent to disposition of the case by a magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) and the provisions of this rule. The written notice shall be in such form as the district judges shall direct. The clerk shall also provide copies of such notice to be attached to the summons and thereafter served upon the defendant(s) in the manner provided by Fed.R.Civ.P. 4. A failure to serve a copy of such notice upon any defendant shall not affect the validity of the service of process or personal jurisdiction over the defendant(s).

D. Unanimous Consent; Determination. Written consent to proceed before a magistrate judge must be filed no later than ten days after the discovery cut-off date. In cases not requiring discovery, the parties shall have 40 days from the filing of the last responsive pleading to file their consent. When there is such consent, the magistrate judge shall forthwith notify the assigned district judge of the unanimous consent who will then determine whether to enter an order of reference pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).

E. Reassignment. Upon entry of an order of reference pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c), the civil action will be reassigned to a magistrate judge selected by random draw, excluding the magistrate judge previously assigned.

F. Additional Parties. Any party added to the action or served after reference to a magistrate judge under this rule shall be notified by the clerk of the right to consent to the exercise of jurisdiction by the magistrate judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). If any added party does not file a consent to proceed before a magistrate judge within 20 days from the date of mailing of the notice, the action shall be returned to the assigned district judge for further proceedings.

G. Vacating Reference. The district judge, for good cause shown on the district judge’s own initiative, or under extraordinary circumstances shown by a party, may vacate a reference of a civil matter to a magistrate judge under this rule.

H. Appeal. Upon entry of a judgment in any civil action on consent of the parties under 28 U.S.C. § 636(c) authority, an appeal shall be directly to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in the same manner as an appeal from any other judgment of this court.

 


Attention Readers: For complete text of state rule changes, including versions showing
revisions, please visit the Court’s website: www.courts.state.co.us


 

Colorado Judicial Department
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Directives

 

Notice of Availability

A full set of the Chief Justice Directives may be purchased from the Colorado Judicial Department for $15, which includes copying, handling, and postage costs. Checks should be made payable to Colorado Judicial Department and should be mailed to: Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203. Individual Chief Justice Directives will be assessed a $5 charge, pursuant to Chief Justice Directive 96-01, concerning standard research fees. Chief Justice Directives also are available from the Colorado Supreme Court homepage at: www.courts.state. co.us/supct/cjdirect/cjdirectives.htm.

Publication in The Colorado Lawyer

Chief Justice Directives will be published on a space available basis in this "Court Business" section of The Colorado Lawyer. Some attachments may be omitted. To obtain a copy of attachments, contact the Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203.

 

CHIEF JUSTICE DIRECTIVE 97-01

Supreme Court of Colorado
Office of the Chief Justice
Appointment of State-Funded Counsel in Criminal and Juvenile Delinquency Cases
Revised

 

The Judicial Branch, as referenced herein, shall mean the Judicial Department.

I. Statutory Authority

A. The federal and state constitutions provide that an accused person has the right to be represented by counsel in criminal prosecutions. This constitutional right has been interpreted to mean that counsel will be provided at state expense for indigent persons in all cases in which actual incarceration is a likely penalty, unless incarceration is specifically waived as a sentencing option pursuant to Section 16-5-501, 6 C.R.S. (2000), or there is a waiver of the right to counsel at the advisement.

B. State funds are appropriated to the Office of the Public Defender to provide for the representation of indigent persons in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases pursuant to Section 21-1-103, 6 C.R.S. (2000).

C. State funds are appropriated to the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel to provide for the representation of indigent persons in criminal and delinquency cases in cases in which the Public Defender declares a conflict of interest pursuant to Section 21-2-101, 6 C.R.S. (2000).

D. Section 19-2-706(2), 6 C.R.S. (2000) provides for the representation of juveniles in delinquency cases in which (1) the parent or legal guardian refuses to retain counsel for the juvenile, or (2) the court finds such representation is necessary to protect the interest of the juvenile or other parties involved in the case. When such an appointment is necessary and the juvenile does not qualify for representation by the Public Defender or the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, the Judicial Branch will pay for the costs of counsel and investigator services as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose.

II. Indigency Determination

A. A defendant in a criminal case or a juvenile’s parent or legal guardian in a delinquency case must be indigent to be represented by the Public Defender or by the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, in cases of Public Defender conflict, at state expense. Such person(s) must also be indigent or otherwise qualify for court-appointed counsel as described in Section III for the court to authorize the payment of certain costs/expenses. Any defendant in a criminal case, or the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian in a delinquency case, requesting court-appointed representation on the basis of indigency must complete Form JDF 208, Application for Court-Appointed Counsel or Guardian ad Litem, signed under oath, and pay the application fee1 pursuant to Section 21-1-103(3), 6 C.R.S. (2000), before indigency may be considered.

B. An indigent person is one whose financial circumstances fall within the fiscal standards established by the Supreme Court (Attachments A, B, and C).

C. Pursuant to Section 21-1-103 (3), 6 C.R.S. (2000), the determination of indigency shall be made by the Public Defender subject to review by the court. Therefore, all persons seeking court-appointed representation shall complete form JDF 208 and shall first apply with the Office of the Public Defender. The Public Defender will determine if the defendant, or a juvenile’s parent or legal guardian in a delinquency case, is eligible for representation in accordance with the fiscal standards.

D. If the Public Defender finds the person to be ineligible and denies representation, the court shall determine the following: 1) whether the court disagrees with the Public Defender’s evaluation and determination, and the Public Defender should be appointed; or 2) whether the person is not eligible for state-paid representation. The court may use the judicial district’s collection investigator(s) to provide a recommendation to the court relative to the above determinations, if additional analysis is needed.

III. Guidelines for Appointment of Counsel and Investigators

A. Public Defender Appointments.

1. Appointments on the Basis of Indigency: To be eligible for representation by the Public Defender, a defendant, or a juvenile’s parent or legal guardian in a delinquency case, must be indigent, as defined above and determined by the Public Defender, subject to review by the court. If such person is indigent, the court shall appoint the Public Defender, except as otherwise provided in paragraph III.B.

2. Appointments To Assist in Motions Under Rule 35 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure:

a) An indigent defendant may be entitled to conflict-free counsel to assist in motions under Rule 35 if it is determined that there is arguable merit to the proceeding. If another attorney represents the defendant and withdraws, the Public Defender may be appointed if the defendant is indigent and there is no conflict with such representation.

b) New counsel may be appointed if the motion includes an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel and the court determines that there is arguable merit to the allegation. The attorney against whom the allegation is made shall withdraw, and the court shall appoint the Public Defender if the defendant is indigent and there is no conflict with such representation.

B. Office of Alternate Defense Counsel Appointments. The Office of Alternate Defense Counsel shall be appointed under the following circumstances:

1. Conflict-of-Interest Appointments: The Public Defender shall file a motion or otherwise notify the court to withdraw in all cases in which a conflict of interest exists. The court shall appoint the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel to represent indigent persons in cases in which the court determines that the Public Defender has a conflict of interest and removes the Public Defender from the case. The court shall promptly notify the designee of the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel of such appointments.

2. Appointments To Represent a Juvenile When Parents Refuse To Hire Counsel for Good Cause: The court may appoint counsel in a juvenile delinquency case if the parent or guardian refuses to retain counsel, pursuant to Section 19-2-706(2)(b), 6 C.R.S. (2000). If such refusal is for good cause due to the fact that a family member is a victim in the case or there is another irreconcilable family conflict, and the person would be eligible for Public Defender representation except that a conflict of interest exists, the court shall enter a written order stating this finding and shall appoint the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel.

3. Appointments To Assist in Motions Under Rule 35 of the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure:

a) An indigent defendant may be entitled to conflict-free counsel to assist in motions under Rule 35 if it is determined that there is arguable merit to the proceeding. If another attorney represents the defendant and withdraws, the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel may be appointed if the defendant qualifies for such representation as stated above.

b) New counsel may be appointed if the motion includes an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel and the court determines that there is arguable merit to the allegation. The attorney against whom the allegation is made shall withdraw, and the court shall appoint the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel if the defendant qualifies for such representation as described earlier in this Section III. B.

4. Attorney Appointments:

a) The Office of Alternate Defense Counsel shall maintain a list of qualified attorneys for use by the courts in making appointments. Upon appointment of the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel, the clerk shall notify the Alternate Defense Counsel’s designee. No more than one attorney may be appointed as counsel for an indigent person except as provided in paragraph (b).

b) It is recognized that in specific exceptional circumstances more than one attorney may be necessary. Accordingly, upon specific written request by counsel for appointment of an additional attorney to assist in the defense of an indigent person, the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel may approve appointment of an additional attorney for good cause shown. Such requests should be made in writing and directed to the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel.

5. Investigator Appointments: Alternate Defense Counsel attorneys shall contact the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel to request authorization for use of an investigator. The Office of Alternate Defense Counsel maintains a list of investigators from which appointments may be made.

C. Judicial Branch Appointments. Private counsel paid by the Judicial Branch will be appointed under the following circumstances.

1. Counsel in Delinquency Cases: The court may appoint counsel in a delinquency case if it deems representation by counsel is necessary to protect the interest of the juvenile or of other parties or if the parent or guardian refuses to retain counsel, pursuant to Section 19-2-706(2), 6 C.R.S. (2000). If an appointment of counsel is necessary for these reasons and the juvenile does not qualify for representation by the Public Defender or the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel as described above, the court may appoint private counsel which will be paid by the Judicial Branch. The court shall order the parent or guardian to reimburse the court for the costs of counsel unless the court finds there is good cause for the refusal to retain counsel.

2. Appointments of Advisory Counsel: There is no constitutional right to the appointment of advisory counsel to assist a pro se defendant. However, pursuant to case law, the court may appoint private advisory counsel either 1) at the request of an indigent pro se defendant, or 2) over the objections of an indigent pro se defendant to ensure orderly proceedings and to provide assistance to the defendant. If the court appoints private advisory counsel for an indigent pro se defendant in a criminal case, the Judicial Branch will pay for counsel, as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose and there is no statutory authority for the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel to advise pro se defendants.

3. Appointments of Contempt Counsel: Private counsel may be appointed for an indigent person facing contempt charges in criminal or delinquency cases when punitive sanctions may be imposed, in accordance with Rule 107(d) of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. If the court appoints private counsel to represent an indigent party for contempt charges in a criminal or delinquency case, the Judicial Branch will pay for counsel, as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose and there is no statutory authority for the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel to represent clients for the sole purpose of addressing contempt charges. Costs and reasonable attorney’s fees in connection with the contempt proceeding may be assessed in the discretion of the court.

4. Attorney Appointments: The Clerk of Court or the District Administrator shall maintain a list of qualified private attorneys from which appointments will be made for cases in which neither the Public Defender nor the Alternate Defense Counsel can be appointed. Upon appointment, the Clerk of Court or the District Administrator shall provide the attorney with a written order of appointment stating the reason for appointment and date of the appointment.

5. Investigator Appointments: If a private appointed attorney paid by the Judicial Branch or an indigent pro se defendant requires the services of an investigator, he or she shall submit a motion to the court requesting authority to hire an investigator. The court shall authorize such appointments as the judge or magistrate deems necessary, and shall issue an order authorizing the amount of investigator fees and expenses that may be incurred, not to exceed the maximum fees set forth in Attachment E. The Judicial Branch shall pay for investigator services under this Section III. C. In addition, if a person qualifies for representation by the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel, but the person receives counsel from another source, such as pro bono counsel or counsel paid by other parties, the court may authorize the services of an investigator at state expense as the judge or magistrate deems necessary, in accordance with the rates and maximum fees established in Attachment E. The Judicial Branch will pay for investigator services in these instances, as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose and there is no statutory authority for the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel to provide and pay for these services.

IV. Appointment of Counsel for Witnesses

A. Grand Jury Witnesses. A witness subpoenaed to appear and testify before a grand jury is entitled to assistance of counsel pursuant to Section 16-5-204, 6 C.R.S. (2000). For any person financially unable to obtain adequate assistance, counsel may be appointed in the same manner as if that person were eligible for appointed counsel. Pursuant to case law, no attorney who provides counsel in the grand jury room may represent more than one witness in a single investigation without grand jury permission. If the court appoints counsel for an indigent witness before a grand jury, the Judicial Branch will pay for counsel, as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose and there is no statutory authority for the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel to represent grand jury witnesses.

B. Victims and Other Witnesses. An indigent witness subpoenaed to appear and testify in a court hearing may be appointed counsel if the witness requests counsel and the judge determines the appointment of counsel is necessary to assist the witness in asserting his or her privilege against self-incrimination. If the court appoints counsel for an indigent witness for this purpose, the Judicial Branch will pay for counsel, as no funds are specifically appropriated for this purpose and there is no statutory authority for the Public Defender or the Alternate Defense Counsel to represent a witness.

V. Guidelines for Payment

A. Public Defender Court Costs. Court costs incurred by the Public Defender shall be billed to the Public Defender’s Office in accordance with that office’s policies and procedures.

B. Office of Alternate Defense Counsel Court Costs, Counsel and Investigator Fees. Claims for payment of counsel and investigator fees and expenses shall be filed with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel. Court costs incurred by Alternate Defense Counsel attorneys and investigators shall be billed to the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel in accordance with that office’s policies and procedures.

C. Court-Appointed Counsel and Investigators Paid by the Judicial Branch

1. Fees and Expenses: Appointments may be made under contracts developed by the Judicial Branch or on an hourly fee basis. A schedule of maximum hourly rates and maximum total fees for state-funded counsel and investigators is shown in Attachment E. Claims for payment on hourly appointments shall be filed with the District Administrator in the respective judicial district on the Request and Authorization for Payment of Fees, JDF207. Claims for payment on contract appointments shall be filed with the State Court Administrator’s Office in the format required by that office. All requests for payment must be in compliance with the Court-Appointed Counsel and Investigators Procedures for Payment of Fees and Expenses (Attachment F) and shall follow the Guidelines for Payment of Court-Appointed Counsel and Investigators Paid by the Judicial Branch for Itemized Fees and Expenses on an Hourly Basis (Attachment G). All requests for payment shall be reviewed by the district administrator or designee, to ensure that all charges are appropriate and in compliance, before payment will be authorized. The Office of the State Court Administrator may review, verify, and revise, when appropriate, authorizations for payment. All incomplete claims will be returned to the attorney or investigator with instructions regarding the additional information needed to process the payment.

2. Court Costs: Costs incurred by counsel shall be billed to the appointing court and, if approved, paid by the court. Court costs include such items as: expert and standard witness fees and expenses, service of process, courtroom interpreters, mental health examinations, transcripts, and discovery costs. Payment of all court costs shall be in accordance with applicable statutes, Chief Justice Directives, and other policies and procedures of the Judicial Branch, including the Mandated Costs chapter of the Judicial Branch’s Fiscal Policies and Procedures manual. Out-of-state investigation travel expenses incurred by the appointee shall be submitted to the court using form JDF207 with the appropriate travel receipts attached.

VI. Appeals

A. Public Defender Appointments

1. The court or the Public Defender shall reassess the indigency status of a defendant who requests court-appointed counsel, as described in Section II, for purposes of appeal.

2. When an indigent person has state-funded private counsel for the trial of a criminal or delinquency case, the Public Defender shall be appointed to represent the defendant on appeal unless the court determines that the Public Defender has a conflict of interest.

B. Alternate Defense Counsel Appointments

1. If the court determines that the Public Defender has a conflict of interest, it shall set forth in a written order the reason for the conflict of interest and the court shall appoint the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel to represent the defendant.

2. No more than one private attorney may be appointed as counsel for an indigent person for appeal of a criminal or delinquency case without prior written approval from the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel.

3. Requests for payment should be submitted to the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel in accordance with that office’s policies and procedures.

VII. Reimbursement to the State

The court shall review the person’s indigency status at the time of sentencing or case disposition. If the court determines, at any time before or after the appointment of state-funded counsel, that the person has the ability to pay all or a part of the costs for representation or other expenses/costs, the court shall enter a written order that the person reimburse all or a part of said costs to the registry of the court. Such order shall constitute a final judgment including costs of collection and may be collected by the state in any manner authorized by law. The court should notify the defendant at the time of sentencing that attorney fees and expenses and other costs are being assessed in an amount to be determined once all bills have been submitted. If the defendant is placed on probation, the court may require payment for the costs of representation as one of the conditions of probation.

If the court appoints counsel for a juvenile in a delinquency case because of the refusal of the parent, guardian, or other legal custodian to retain counsel for the juvenile, the court shall order the responsible party(ies) (unless the county department of social services or the Department of Human Services is the responsible party) to reimburse the court for the costs of counsel unless the court finds there is good cause for the refusal to retain counsel pursuant to Section 19-2-706(2)(b), 6 C.R.S. (2000).

Collection of fees and costs related to court-appointed representation may be referred to the Collections Investigator, a private collector with whom the Judicial Branch has contracted, or to the Central Collections Service in the State Division of Central Services.

Costs for representation provided to indigent persons may be assessed at the fixed hourly rate for state-funded private counsel, at the state-funded counsel contract rate, or at the hourly cost of providing legal representation by the Public Defender for the number of hours reported by counsel to the court. Other costs incurred for the purposes of prosecution of the case may be assessed, including, for example, costs for transcripts, witness fees and expenses, language interpreter fees, and costs for service of process. In addition, the responsible party(ies) may be required to pay costs of collection. Costs incurred for services required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, such as hearing interpreter fees, may not be assessed.

CJD 97-01 is revised, effective January 1, 2001.

Date: February 13, 2001

Mary J. Mullarkey, Chief Justice

NOTE

1. Based upon the financial information submitted, the court may reduce the fee to $10 or waive the fee [Section 21-1-103(3), C.R.S.].

 

CHIEF JUSTICE DIRECTIVE 97-02

Supreme Court Of Colorado
Office of the Chief Justice
Directive Concerning Court Appointment of
Guardians Ad Litem, Special Advocates, Court Visitors, and Attorney Representatives
And Of Counsel for Children and Indigent Persons
In Titles 14, 15, 19 (Dependency And Neglect Only), 22, 25, And 27
Revised

 

The following policy is adopted effective August 1, 1997 to assist the administration of justice through (1) the appointment and training of guardians ad litem, special advocates, court visitors, and attorney representatives appointed on behalf of child(ren), wards, or impaired adults in all cases and (2) the appointment of counsel for children and adults under Titles 14, 15, 19 (dependency and neglect only), 22, 25, and 27. This policy does not cover appointments made pursuant to Titles 16 and 18 nor appointments of counsel in juvenile delinquency matters pursuant to Title 19. Appointment of counsel in juvenile delinquency matters is addressed in Chief Justice Directive 97-01. The Judicial Branch, as referenced herein, shall mean the Judicial Department.

I. Statutory Authority

A. The federal and state constitutions and various Colorado statutes provide authority for the appointment of guardians ad litem, special advocates, court visitors, attorney representatives and counsel, and counsel for adults for indigent persons in certain civil actions.

B. State funds are appropriated to the Judicial Branch to provide for representation in dependency and neglect cases and in certain other cases in which the party represented, or the party’s parent or legal guardian, is determined to be indigent.

II. Determination of IndigencyIndigency Determination

A. A personThe person for whom representation is requested or, in the case of children, the responsible party, must be indigent to qualify for court-appointed representation at state expense pursuant to Titles 14, 15, 22, 25, and 27 and for representation of respondents in a dependency and neglect action under Title 19. Such person(s) must also be indigent for the court to authorize payment of certain costs and expenses. The parent or legal guardian of a child in a dependency and neglect action under Title 19 need not be indigent for the appointment of a guardian ad litem for the child.

B. An indigent person is one whose financial circumstances fall within the fiscal standards set forth in Attachment A.

C. All persons requesting court-appointed representation to be paid by the state on the basis of indigency must complete, or have completed on their behalf, application form JDF 208 ("Application for Court-Appointed Counsel or Guardian ad Litem") signed under oath, before an appointment of counsel at state expense may be considered by the court. Form JDF 208 must be completed for the appointment of a guardian ad litem at state expense in all cases except dependency and neglect cases under Title 19 and Truancy cases under Title 22. Form JDF 208 must be completed for the appointment of counsel at state expense in all cases except mental health cases under Title 27 in which the respondent refuses to or is unable to supply the necessary information.

D. If, in the best interests of justice, a tentative appointment of legal counsel or a guardian ad litem for the party is necessary, such appointment may be made pending a final decision regarding indigency. If a review of a person’s application shows that the person is not indigent and the person is not qualified to have court-appointed representation at state expense, the court may order the person to reimburse the state for any justifiable fees and expenses as a result of representation provided from a tentative appointment of legal counsel or a guardian ad litem.

III. Appointment of Guardians ad Litem, Special Advocates, and Attorney Representatives

A. A guardian ad litem must be appointed for a child in a dependency and neglect action pursuant to Title 19, regardless of a determination of indigency.

B. A guardian ad litem may be appointed in the child’s best interest for a child in a truancy action pursuant to Title 22, a juvenile delinquency action pursuant to Title 19, or for a juvenile charged as an adult in a criminal case, pursuant to Title 19.

C. An attorney representative or special advocate may be appointed in the child’s best interest for a child in a domestic relations case pursuant to Title 14. The court shall enter an order for costs, fees, and disbursements against any or all of the parties. When a responsible party is indigent, the state will pay the attorney representative or special advocate at the rates established in Section VII.D. and VII E. for the portion of authorized fees and expenses time for which the indigent party is responsible.

D. A guardian ad litem may be appointed for a parent or guardian in dependency and neglect proceedings who has been determined to be mentally ill or developmentally disabled, unless a conservator has been appointed, pursuant to Title 19.

E. In formal proceedings involving trusts or estates of decedents, minors, protected persons, and in judicially supervised settlements pursuant to Title 15, a guardian ad litem or court visitor may be appointed to represent the interest of a minor, an incapacitated, unborn, or unascertained person, or a person whose identity or address is unknown, if the court determines that a need for such representation exists.

F. A guardian ad litem must be appointed for any child under age 15 who is a ward of the Department of Human Services, or for any minor who objects to hospitalization, in a mental health proceeding pursuant to Title 27.

G. A guardian ad litem may be appointed for an infant or incompetent person who does not have a representative and who is a party to a civil suit.

H. A guardian ad litem may be appointed for a child in a paternity action pursuant to Title 19, and must be appointed for a child who is made a party to the action unless the child has another representative or is in privity with the state. The appointment terminates upon permanent orders. An appointment may be reactivated after permanent orders for a limited purpose and duration to represent the child’s interests in matters concerning custody, child support, guardianship, or parenting time.

I. A court visitor shall be appointed for an allegedly incapacitated person who does not have counsel pursuant to Title 15.

J. Upon the filing of a petition for involuntary commitment of alcoholics or drug abusers, a guardian ad litem may be appointed for the person if the court deems the person’s presence in court may be injurious to him or her pursuant to Title 25.

K. Upon the filing of a petition for emergency or involuntary commitment of alcoholics or drug abusers, counsel may be appointed for the person pursuant to Title 25.

IV. Appointment of Counsel for a Juvenile

Counsel may be appointed in the child’s best interest at state expense for a child in a truancy action pursuant to Title 22 or for any matter under Title 19 if the court deems representation by counsel necessary to protect the interests of the child or other parties. Form JDF 208 must be completed by the parent or legal guardian to determine whether the parent or legal guardian shall reimburse the state for the appointment. The appointment shall be at state expense if the parent(s) or guardian(s) is(are) indigent or if a determination of indigency cannot be made.

V. Reimbursement to the State for Court-Appointed Representation

A. For all appointments described, the court shall review the indigency status of the responsible party or estate at the time of appointment and, if feasible, at the time of case closure. In the case of a court visitor appointment, the petitioner and/or the allegedly incapacitated person may be ordered to pay all or a portion of the visitor’s fees and expenses if they are not determined to be indigent. If the court determines, at any time before or after appointment of counsel, guardian ad litem, special advocate, court visitor, or attorney representative, that the responsible party(ies) or estate has the ability to pay all or part of the costs for representation or other costs, the court shall enter a written order that the person(s) or estate reimburse all or part of those costs to the registry of the court for transmittal to the state general fund as a cost recovery. The order of reimbursement may be reduced to shall constitute a final judgment and may be collected by the state in any manner authorized by law.

B. Collections of fees and costs related to for court-appointed representation may be referred to the Collections Investigator, a private collector with whom the Judicial Branch has contracted, or to the Central Collections Service in the State Division of Central Services.

C. Costs for representation provided to indigent persons may be assessed at the fixed hourly rate for court-appointed counsel for the number of hours reported by counsel to the court. Court costs may also be assessed, including costs for transcripts, witness fees, and costs for service of process. In addition, the responsible party(ies) may be required to pay costs of collection.

VI. Guidelines for Appointment of Counsel, Guardians Ad Litem, Special Advocates, Court Visitors, or Attorney Representatives

A. The court shall maintain a list of qualified contract attorneys from which to make appointments of counsel, guardians ad litem, attorney special advocates, and attorney representatives.

B. Any attorney not under contract with the DepartmentBranch who requests appointments must submit to the chief judge a request with an affidavit of qualifications for such appointments. The judge, in his or her discretion, may approve additions to the list at any time. An attorney must submit an updated affidavit every three years to ensure that he or she is maintaining his or her qualifications for such appointments.

C. The judge or magistrate shall consider the number of an attorney’s active cases, the qualifications of the attorney as provided, and the needs of the party requesting representation when making appointments.

D. The court may also appoint a qualified person other than an attorney as a special advocate, court visitor, or guardian ad litem when the appointment of an attorney is not mandated by statute. The court shall also maintain a list of qualified persons to accept appointments as special advocates, court visitors, non-attorney guardians ad litem, or investigators from which the judge will make appointments.

E. All appointments shall be made pursuant to a written Order of the Court. The order shall specify the:

1. authority under which the appointment is made;

2. reason(s) for the appointment;

3. scope of the duties to be performed; and

4. terms and method of compensation.

Sample Orders of Appointment are attached as Attachments B and C. [Available on court website.]

F. The appointing judge or magistrate shall monitor the actions of the appointee to ensure compliance with the duties and scope specified in the order of appointment.

VII. Guidelines for Payment by the DepartmentBranch

A. The fees and expenses for court appointees will be reimbursed either (1) on a monthly basis at the set rate per case established by the Colorado Judicial DepartmentBranch for appointments made under contract, (2) on a case-by-case basis for itemized payment orders detailing the appointee’s time spent and expenses for appointments not covered by contracts with the DepartmentBranch, or (3) in accordance with the procedures established by the DepartmentBranch under other contract agreements.

B. Court costs for all state-paid appointments shall be billed to the appointing court and, if approved, paid by the appointing court. Court costs include such items as: witness fees, witness expenses, service of process, out-of-state investigative travel, language interpreters, mental health examinations, transcripts, and discovery costs. Payment of all court costs shall be in accordance with applicable statutes, Chief Justice Directives, and other policies and procedures of the Judicial DepartmentBranch., including Fiscal Procedure, Chapter 22 ("Procedure for Processing Court Cost Bills") the Mandated Costs Chapter of the Judicial Department Fiscal Procedures Manual. Out of state investigation travel expenses incurred by the appointee shall be submitted to the court using form JDF 207 with the appropriate travel receipts attached.

C. The DepartmentBranch contracts with individual attorneys for court-appointed representation on a state-fiscal-year basis (July 1 through June 30) at rates established annually by the DepartmentBranch. Claims for payment by counsel and guardians ad litem for appointments made under contract shall be made in compliance with the procedures specified in the contract. Claims for payment not covered by contracts with the DepartmentBranch shall follow the procedures described inat Attachment D.

D. For appointments that are not made under a contractual agreement, the following maximum hourly rates for reimbursement by the DepartmentBranch and the maximum total fees that may be paid to court-appointed counsel, investigators, special advocates, or attorney representatives paid by the Department, are established (no payment shall be authorized for hourly rates in excess of these scheduled rates):

MAXIMUM HOURLY RATE

Court-appointed Counsel

In court/Out of court
$50.00/40.00 per hour
(effective 1/1/91)
$55.00/45.00 per hour
(effective 1/1/01)*

Attorney Guardian ad Litem,
Special Advocate, or Attorney Representative

$50.00/40.00 per hour
(effective 1/1/91)
$55.00/45.00 per hour
(effective 1/1/01)*

Non-Attorney Special Advocate
or Guardian ad Litem $20 per hour

$20 per hour

Paralegal, Legal Assistant,
or Law Clerk

$20 per hour

Court-authorized Investigator

$25 per hour

Court Visitor

$25 per hour

*for work performed on or after this date

E. For all appointments (contract and hourly), the following maximum total fees that may be paid for court-appointed counsel, investigators, special advocates, or attorneys are established:

MAXIMUM TOTAL FEE PER APPOINTMENT
(Appointments August 1, 1997
Effective January 1, 2001 and later)

Title 19 — Dependency and Neglect Matters

Respondent Parent Counsel $2,000.00

Attorney Guardian ad Litem $2,000.00

Non-Attorney Special Advocate $1,000.00

Title 19 — Other Matters (i.e. delinquency GAL, support, adoption, paternity, etc.)

Attorney Guardian ad Litem or

Special Advocate $1,000.00

Non-Attorney Special Advocate or

Guardian ad Litem $ 500.00

Titles 14 and 15

Counsel (probate only) $2,000.00

Attorney Representative, Special

Advocate, or Guardian ad Litem $2,000.00

Non-Attorney Guardian ad Litem

or Special Advocate $1,000.00

Court Visitor $ 500.00

Titles 22, 25, and 27

Guardian ad Litem (attorney) $ 500.00

Guardian ad Litem (non-attorney) $ 200.00

Counsel $ 500.00

Appeals

Counsel; Attorney Guardian ad Litem,

Special Advocate, or Attorney

Representative $2,000.00

F. Under no circumstances shall the total fees exceed the maximums outlined without a detailed written motion and detailed written order showing the specific special circumstances that justify fees in excess of the maximum (see procedure in Attachment D, paragraph D). If a court-appointed attorney chooses to use the support of a paralegal, legal assistant, investigator, or law clerk, the fees of the support person shall be added to the fees of the attorney. The combined fees, inclusive of expenses, of the attorney or non-attorney representative and other support staff shall not exceed the total maximum outlined.

G. To maintain effective representation by court-appointed counsel and to provide basic fairness to attorneys and others so appointed, the State Court Administrator is directed to review the fee schedule for court-appointed counsel every three years, commencing in the year 2000, and to submit a report to the Colorado Supreme Court on or before October 1 of that year, and every third year thereafter, with recommended adjustments to the fee schedule.

H. Attorneys shall must maintain records of all work performed relating to court appointments and make all such records available to the Judicial DepartmentBranch for inspection, audit, and evaluation in such form and manner as the DepartmentBranch in its discretion may require, subject to attorney/client privilege.

VIII. Appeals

A. The trial court shall determine the need and statutory requirement for appointment of private counsel on appeal. Where applicable, determinations of indigency should be made in accordance with the procedure described in section II.

B. Orders for payment shall be filed on Form JDF 207 (Colorado Judicial Department Department Order For Payment Of Fees) with the appellate court and must contain a copy of the order appointing private counsel to represent the indigent person on appeal. An appellate court judge, or designee, shall carefully review all orders for payment submitted to the court for approval.

C. The maximum total fee allowable on an appeal shall be in accordance with the maximum feesrates outlined in VII ED.

Sections IX, X, XI, and XII apply only to attorneys, special advocates, court visitors, and attorney representatives appointed on behalf of children, wards, or impaired adults, and do not apply to appointment of legal counsel.

IX. Training of Guardians ad Litem, Special Advocates, and Attorney Representatives Appointed on Behalf of Children, Wards, or Impaired Adults

A. Attorneys appointed as guardians ad litem, special advocates, or attorney representatives shall possess the knowledge, expertise, and training necessary to perform the court appointment, and shall be subject to all of the rules and standards of the legal profession.

B. In addition, the attorney guardians ad litem, special advocates, and attorney representatives shall obtain 10 hours of continuing legal education, or other courses relevant to an appointment that enhance the attorney’s knowledge of the issues in representation, per legal education reporting period. The court shall require that proof of such education, expertise, or experience be on file with the court at the time of appointment.

C. In those cases in which a non-attorney is appointed as a special advocate, court visitor, or guardian ad litem, the non-attorney shall also demonstrate the knowledge, expertise, and training necessary to fulfill the terms of the appointment. The court may determine whether the individual’s knowledge, expertise, and training are adequate for an appointment, and may require the individual to demonstrate his or her qualifications.

X. Duties of Guardians ad Litem, Special Advocates, and Attorney Representatives Appointed on Behalf of Children, Wards, or Impaired Adults

A. The individual appointed shall diligently take steps that he or she deems necessary to protect the interest of the person for whom he or she was appointed, under the terms and conditions of the order of appointment, including any specific duties set forth in that or any subsequent order. If the appointee finds it necessary and in the best interests of the child(ren), ward, or impaired adult, the appointee may request that the court expand the terms of the appointment and scope of the duties.

B. An individual appointed as a special advocate pursuant to Section 14-10-116, C.R.S. shall follow the specific terms of the order of appointment, which will include the filing of a written report with the court, but may not include all of the other duties described in this paragraph. An attorney appointed as a guardian litem in a truancy case shall follow the specific terms of the order of appointment, which may not include all of the duties described in this paragraph. A guardian ad litem or special advocate in a dependency and neglect case For all other guardian ad litem, special advocate, and attorney representative appointments, the appointee shall specifically:

1. Attend all court hearings and provide accurate and current information directly to the court (Although another qualified attorney may substitute for some hearings, this should be the exception.).

2. At the court’s direction and in compliance with 19-3-606(1), C.R.S. (2000), file written or oral report(s) with the court and all other parties., unless appointed as attorney representative pursuant to Section 14-10-116(2), C.R.S.

3. Conduct an independent investigation in a timely manner, which shall include, at a minimum:

a) Personally meeting with and observing the child(ren)’s interaction with the parents or proposed custodians when appropriate;

b) Personally meeting with and observing the child, ward, or impaired adult at home or in placement;

c) Personally interviewing the child (if age-appropriate), ward, or impaired adult;

d) Reviewing court files and relevant records, reports, and documents;

e) Interviewing, with the consent of counsel, respondent parents;

f) Interviewing other people involved in the child’s, ward’s, or impaired adult’s life; and

g) When appropriate, visiting the home from which the child, ward, or impaired adult was removed.

Duties (f) and (g) may be performed, under the supervision of the appointee, by a qualified person other than the appointee.

4. In cases in which the parents, or child, ward, or impaired adult is are living or placed more than 100 miles outside of the jurisdiction of the court, the requirements to personally meet with and interview the person are waived unless extraordinary circumstances warrant the expenditure of state funds required for such visits. However, the appointee shall endeavor to meet the person if and when that person is within 100 miles of the jurisdiction of the court.

5. Continue to perform all duties listed above as necessary to represent the best interest of the child, ward, or impaired adult for the duration of the case unless relieved of such duty by the court.

6. All attorney guardians ad litem and, special advocates, and attorney representatives paid by the state shall submit a standard affidavit of compliance (see Attachment F) to the presiding juvenile judge, probate judge, or chief judge by February 1 of each year for appointments made in the previous year. Affidavits shall be submitted in each district in which the attorney is appointed. For any cases in which the attorney has not complied with the above requirements, a standard exception form shall be attached to the affidavit. Copies of the affidavits and attachments shall be submitted to the Office of the State Court Administrator by the attorney. The standard affidavit of compliance and exception form shall be developed by the Office of the State Court Administrator and made available to all guardians ad litem and, special advocates, and attorney representatives by the court.

C. An individual appointed as a special advocate pursuant to Section 14-10-116, C.R.S. (2000) shall follow the specific terms of the order of appointment, which will include the filing of a written report with the court, but may not include all of the other duties described in this paragraph X.B.

D. An attorney appointed as a guardian litem in all other proceedings, including juvenile delinquency, paternity, relinquishment, probate, mental health, and truancy cases, shall perform all duties as directed by the court, which may include some or all of the duties described in paragraph X.B.

XI. Duties of Judges and Magistrates

A. Judges and magistrates shall ensure that guardians ad litem, special advocates, and attorney representatives involved with cases under their jurisdiction are representing the best interests of children, wards, or impaired adults and performing the duties specified in this order.

B. In providing this oversight, judges and magistrates shall:

1. Routinely monitor compliance with this directive;

2. Encourage local bar associations to develop and implement mentor programs which will enable prospective guardians ad litem, special advocates, and attorney representatives to learn these areas of the law;

3. Encourage local bar associations to establish committees to oversee guardians ad litem, special advocates, and attorney representatives;

4. Meet with guardians ad litem, special advocates, or attorney representatives at the first appointment to provide guidance and clarify the expectations of the court; and

5. Hold periodic meetings with all practicing guardians ad litem, special advocates, or attorney representatives as the court deems necessary to ensure adequate representation of children, wards, or impaired adults.

XII. Complaints

A. For all court-appointed attorneys, including counsel, guardians ad litem, attorney special advocates, and attorney representatives, complaints concerning alleged violations of the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct shall be filed with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel.

B. All complaints regarding the performance of any state– paid guardian ad litem, special advocate, court visitor, or attorney representative shall be submitted to the district administrator. The district administrator will forward the complaint to the presiding juvenile judge, probate judge or, if appropriate, chief judge of the district; unless a conflict exists due to the judge’s involvement in the case described. If a conflict exists, the district administrator will forward the complaint to another judge designated for that purpose. If the reviewing judge, district administrator, or the Office of the State Court Administrator determines that an attorney acting as a guardian ad litem, special advocate, or attorney representative may have violated the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct, the information shall be filed with the Colorado Supreme Court Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel. Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 251.31(1)(2), Regulation Counsel shall advise the reporting judge or the State Court Administrator of the results of its investigation.

C. Copies of all written complaints and documentation of verbal complaints regarding state-paid guardians ad litem, special advocates, court visitors, or attorney representatives shall be forwarded by the district administrator to the Office of the State Court Administrator.

XIII. Sanctions

A. All contracts with the Colorado Judicial DepartmentBranch for guardian ad litem shall include a provision to ensure compliance with this Chief Justice Directive. Failure to comply with this Directive may result in termination of the contract and/or removal from the appointment list.

B. Judges and magistratesicial officers shall notify guardians ad litem who are appointed on an hourly basis that acceptance of the appointment requires compliance with this Directive, and that . Ffailure to comply with this Directive may result in termination of the current appointment and/or removal from the appointment list.

CJD 97-02 is revised, effective January 1, 20010.

Date: February 13, 2001

Mary J. Mullarkey, Chief Justice

 

CHIEF JUSTICE DIRECTIVE 98-05

Supreme Court of Colorado
Office of the Chief Justice
Access of the Public to Documents and Materials in the Courts

 

The purpose of this directive is to provide the public with reasonable access to Judicial Branch information while protecting the privacy interests of parties. In addition, this directive is intended to provide direction to Judicial Branch personnel in order to ensure the validity of the information that is released to the public. A public access committee is hereby created that will, in the future, provide direction for the Judicial Branch regarding release of information. This directive temporarily defines procedures by which information is released to the public, pending the adoption of other procedures upon recommendation of the public access committee.

Materials associated with court files including all books, records, documents, indexes, calendars, orders, judgments, decrees, minutes, registers of actions, (whether or not printed from ICON) and any other additional information determined by the district, county, probate, juvenile courts, Court of Appeals, and Supreme Court to properly be a part of the court file, shall be available to the public at each court respectively. Other information resident in electronic format, used by the Judicial Branch, and known as ICON (Integrated Colorado On-Line Network) or any other electronic database managed by the Judicial Branch is not available at each respective court; however, information from this database shall be made available to the public subject to the limitations of statute, rule and this directive.

Public Access to Materials at Each Respective Court

A. Any materials associated with court files, as referenced above, that are not declared to be private or confidential by statute or specific order of court, shall be open to the public for reasonable inspections at reasonable times during normal business hours, subject to the following limitations:

1. A court, for good cause shown, may order that specific records in a specific case shall not be made available to the public.

2. A court, by blanket order, may declare that certain types of materials, including but not limited to materials or exhibits which are dangerous or contraband, drugs, items whose possession is illegal, financial affidavits of parties, income tax returns filed in the court, separation agreements, property division orders, presentence reports, custody investigation reports, child abuse investigation reports, and estate inventories and appraisals which the court finds are personal and confidential to the parties and which do not fulfill any requirement of necessity of public knowledge shall not be made available to the public.

3. A court may continue to suppress publication of certain documents or files for good cause shown for a specified period, as that court may order.

B. Requests to inspect or copy the publicly accessible materials associated with court files, as referenced above, shall be made pursuant to Section 24-72-201, et seq. (public records) and 24-72-301, et seq. (criminal justice records).

Public Access to Electronic Data of the Judicial Branch

A. Public Access Committee.

A public access committee shall be established to provide direction for the development of a policy regarding the information to be released to the public from the ICON system. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, by order, shall create the committee. Requests to inspect or obtain copies of information of the Judicial Branch stored in any electronic form shall be made pursuant to the procedures described below. These procedures shall remain in effect unless or until the public access committee determines that different procedures would better serve the purpose of providing electronic data to the public while protecting the privacy interests of parties.

Except as otherwise provided in this directive, the State Court Administrator shall be the official custodian of the electronic database and shall release data subject to the direction of the committee. The committee shall develop policies and procedures as necessary to facilitate the release and provide for the accuracy of information from the electronic database while protecting the privacy interests of persons about whom information exists. The committee shall also develop policies and procedures for the cost recovery of making electronic data available to the public. The policy and procedures developed by the committee shall govern the completion of requests for information from the ICON database.

No Judicial Branch personnel shall allow a member of the public to use a computer or other machine associated with the ICON system unless it is designated as a public access terminal for access to registers of action, name index and summary financial information. The public access committee may develop policies and procedures for other public uses of such computers or machines.

B. Validity of information released to the public.

1. Court personnel will make reasonable efforts to use the standardized coding and input procedures established by the State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO).

2. Any information released in error to the public shall not be admissible into evidence in any court case.

3. If a Judicial Branch employee or the public access committee believes that information in the ICON system is inaccurate, the SCAO shall be immediately informed and such information shall not be released to the public.

C. Procedure for release of information from the ICON System

The SCAO, as the official custodian of the electronic database, is charged with completing the following requests for information from the ICON system, consistent with the policies and procedures developed by the public access committee.

1. Bulk Requests. Requests for bulk data shall be considered those requests for information from the entire statewide trial court ICON database. The public access committee shall determine the policies and procedures for the release of bulk data pursuant to the following guidelines:

a. The release of such information shall not interfere with the regular discharge of the duties of the courts, probation or the state court administrator’s office.

b. Information shall not be released if contrary to the public interest.

Until such time as the committee develops such procedures the custodian of the record may only release bulk data in the form in which the data is currently maintained if the release does not interfere with the duties of the courts, probation or the state court administrator’s office; and if the data is accurate and complies with confidentiality requirements.

2. Individual Case Requests. Except for the release of registers of action, name index, and financial summaries which shall be released by the local court, requests for information from the electronic database on individual cases shall not be completed until such time as an approved program is developed, that allows for "public" information to be printed from the electronic database on an individual case. Any inquiries about such requests should be directed to the SCAO.

3. Requests for Composite Information. Requests for composite information shall be considered those requests for selected data elements from the ICON database, which involve the manipulation of five files or less. For purposes of this directive a file contains related pieces of data that are stored in a database file, and is typically referred to as a file. ICON maintains numerous files such as, an event file, a charge file, a party file, etc. Such requests shall be completed following an assessment of the feasibility of the specific request based on policies and procedures established by the public access committee. The report format shall be determined by the SCAO. The SCAO shall assess each request and determine the cost to be assessed for completion, and the time it will take to complete. The SCAO shall inform the requestor of the cost and time within seven working days of the request.

a. Any person or entity making a request for composite information from the ICON system shall submit such request on a prescribed form.

b. Prior to the release of any information, the requestor must sign a statement that any records pertaining to criminal justice matters will not be used for the direct solicitation of business for pecuniary gain.

c. Records may be sealed, expunged, or suppressed after the data is released. The requestor is responsible for checking the current status of data prior to re-releasing it to other parties.

4. Pre-existing aggregate reports. The public access committee shall determine which of the existing reports may be released at the local level.

I. Electronic Data Excluded from Release to the Public

In addition to any policies developed by the public access committee, the following information on the ICON system shall not be released to the public.

A. Probation ICON files;

B. Financial Files—everything except the financial summary screen;

C. Files/fields/codes related to running a computer program;

D. Files/fields/codes concerning the deliberative process;

E. Free text fields;

F. The following case types:

1. Juvenile (JA, JD, JN, JP)

2. Mental Health (MH)

G. Suppressed, sealed or confidential, files, data or information;

H. Social Security Numbers;

I. Codes and information related to victims of crime;

J. Any electronic information that is not on the ICON system;

K. Draft opinions, notes, or internal memos.

L. This directive supercedes directive 85-16.

Date: 10/02/98

Mary J. Mullarkey, Chief Justice

 

 

Public Access Committee
Policy Concerning the Release of Bulk Data

 

This policy is adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Public Access Committee by Chief Justice Directive 98-05 to establish policy concerning the release of bulk data and is consistent with that directive unless otherwise specifically indicated. Bulk data, for purposes of this statement of policy, is defined as the entire ICON database. It is defined also to include that subset of the entire database that remains after the extraction of all data that is confidential under law. It is the policy of the Judicial Branch that bulk data not be released to individuals, government agencies or private entities.

This policy is effective immediately and is intended to provide guidance to the Judicial Branch as it responds to requests for information. It will be submitted for review by a broader group of interested citizens and governmental agencies. After this review the Committee will assess whether any changes to this policy are warranted and will make appropriate recommendations to the Chief Justice.

This policy is adopted in the best interests of the public for the following reasons:

  • Bulk data, as regularly maintained by the Judicial Branch in the normal course of business, includes information that is protected from disclosure by law. In order to protect confidential information, the bulk data must be manipulated to generate a record in a form that is not used by the Judicial Branch. Thus, release of bulk data is inconsistent with Chief Justice Directive 98-05. Further, the subset of the entire database that remains after the extraction of all data that is confidential is not maintained for the purposes of the operation of the Judicial Branch.
  • The rights of litigants and other parties to court actions may be jeopardized by the wholesale release of information.
  • Incomplete and inaccurate data are likely to be resident in the complete set of ICON data and cannot be evaluated under this type of release.
  • Release of bulk data does not allow for any review of the data or the issues that may arise if disseminated without such review.

Adopted the 14th day of December 1998, by the Public Access Committee.

Justice Alex J. Martinez
Colorado Supreme Court
Chair, Public Access Committee

 

Public Access Committee
Policy Concerning the Release of Composite Data

 

This policy is adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Public Access Committee by Chief Justice Directive 98-05 to establish policy concerning the release of composite data and is consistent with that Directive unless otherwise specifically indicated. Composite data are the specific data elements within the ICON database. It is the policy of the Judicial Branch to supply non-confidential information to the public from the ICON database. This statement identifies the policy of the Judicial Branch in that regard.

This policy is intended to provide guidance to the Judicial Branch as it responds to requests for information. It is effective when Internet access to live data is available.

Composite information will be released by the State Court Administrators Office, or its designated agent, under the following conditions and in the manner and form determined by the State Court Administrator.

  • Only data elements contained in the ICON database which have been approved for release by the Public Access Committee shall be released.
  • Composite releases will not contain any case numbers or names of parties associated with a case.
  • Only the State Court Administrators Office, or the designated agent of the SCAO, shall release composite data.
  • Requests for ongoing reports via composite data requests will be provided no more frequently than on a quarterly basis.
  • Requests will be provided within the current resource capacity of the Judicial Branch. The State Court Administrator’s Office will prioritize requests in the following manner: requests from within the Judicial Branch; requests from other agencies that are essential to complying with their statutory mandates; and, other requests including those from the media, businesses and private entities.
  • The State Court Administrator shall not devote resources in excess of those, which are allocated by the legislature or replaced by recovered costs, which the Judicial Branch retains.
  • The State Court Administrator shall recover all actual and reasonable costs associated with providing composite data to other agencies and public entities.
  • Chief Judges, District Administrators and Chief Probation Officers shall be notified of any requests for information involving their districts that directly impact their operations.

Recipients of composite information are required to sign an agreement that includes an acknowledgement of the recipient’s responsibility for checking the accuracy of the data and complying with the requirements of Section 24-72-305.5 C.R.S of the Criminal Justice Records Act. This provision prohibits the use of criminal justice records for the solicitation of business.

Adopted the 19th day of May 2000, by the Public Access Committee.

Internet access to live data became available November 17, 2000. Pursuant to the policy adopted herein, this policy is in effect as of that same date, November 17, 2000.

Signed and dated January 16, 2001.

Justice Alex J. Martinez

Colorado Supreme Court

Chair, Public Access Committee

 

Public Access Committee
Policy Concerning the Recovery of Costs Related
To the Release of Electronic Data

 

This policy is adopted pursuant to the authority granted to the Public Access Committee by Chief Justice Directive 98-05 to establish policy concerning the recovery of costs associated with the release of electronic data and is consistent with that Directive unless otherwise specifically indicated. This policy is effective immediately and is intended to provide guidance to the Judicial Branch as it responds to requests for information. It will be submitted for review by a broader group of interested citizens and governmental agencies. After this review the Committee will assess whether any changes to this policy are warranted and will make appropriate suggestions to the Chief Justice.

The State Court Administrator’s Office shall develop a procedure for the recovery of costs associated with the release of electronic information. That procedure shall be governed by the following guidelines:

1. Costs shall be consistent with those allowed in Section 24-72-205(2) and (3) and shall include:

The direct personnel costs associated with programming or writing queries to supply the information.

  1. The administrative personnel costs associated with providing the information.
  2. The personnel costs associated with testing the data for validity and accuracy.
  3. The maintenance costs associated with the hardware and software that are necessary to provide the information as expressed in Computer Processing Units (CPU).
  4. The operating costs involved with providing the data on various mediums, i.e., zip disks, floppy disks, etc.

2. These costs shall be set out in a formula by the State Court Administrator’s Office.

3. The State Court Administrator’s Office shall establish an accounting system to track and assure the assessment and recovery of these costs.

Adopted December 14, 1998, by the Public Access Committee.

Justice Alex J. Martinez
Colorado Supreme Court
Chair, Public Access Committee

© 2001 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2001.


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